Op-Ed: How the U.S. came to protect the natural world — and exploit it at the same time —
My dad grew up without electricity or running water. He grew up during the Great Depression and as many parents would, he felt helpless. But that experience didn’t stop him from working to preserve and protect what he loved most in the world—the natural world.
His father, who was a career naval architect, saw the potential of new technologies to advance the quality of human life. So my dad studied these technologies and learned how to manipulate these technologies to help the world.
He knew that, as a naval architect, he could design more efficient ships and develop ways to improve the life on a ship. Later, he pursued a master’s degree at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and he became a ship’s officer in the U.S. Navy.
He learned about new and emerging technologies. He also knew how to think long-term. He saw something more positive with the new technologies. He saw the potential to make the world better for his grandchildren, our future generations.
After a few years, he decided, “Let me see if I can make a difference in something else.” That’s how he became a research and development officer at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. There, he researched and developed technologies for the Navy.
In the 1960s, my dad was part of the Naval Research Lab team that developed the first unmanned aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons. That technology has been used to target terrorists and other criminals on the battlefield and in terrorist-harboring locations.
The technology has been used successfully on the battlefield, in drone-controlled targets and on terrorists.
Dad’s research and development efforts led him to the creation of the Navy’s first unmanned aircraft carrier — the Sea Hunter, which was named after the iconic submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus